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Feminist News


May-24-04

Convicted Child Molester to be Released on Bond

John Burt, an anti-abortion extremist and convicted child molester, will be released on a $10,000 bond pending appeal of his conviction. Burt, 66, was sentenced this month to more than 18 years for molesting a 15-year-old girl who was in his care at his so-called home for unwed mothers, Our Fathers House. Under the terms of his bond, Burt must remain in Santa Rosa County, Florida, he must register as a sex offender, and he is not allowed to be alone with children, according to WEAR-TV in Pensacola, Florida.

In the early 1980s, John Burt, who was the Regional Director of Rescue America at the time, was at the center of disruptions at the Pensacola, Florida clinics. In 1986, Burt led an invasion into the Ladies Center Clinic in Pensacola, which led to his arrest and conviction along with Joan Andrews Bell, an associate of James Kopp, who was convicted of assassinating Dr. Barnett Slepian. Joseph Scheidler was touring at the time on his book, 99 Ways to Close an Abortion Clinic. Scheidler was on the lawn in front of the clinic at the time of the invasion. This incident was the impetus for the NOW v. Scheidler case that went to the Supreme Court twice and is still in litigation.

In 1993, Burt was leading a Rescue America protest outside the second Pensacola clinic when an Our Father's House volunteer, Michael Griffin, shot and killed Dr. David Gunn in the rear of the clinic. Burt was also an associate of Paul Hill, who murdered Dr. Bayard Britton and volunteer escort James Barrett outside the Ladies Center Clinic in Pensacola in 1994. Burt was videotaped helping Paul Hill identify Dr. Britton outside the clinic in the weeks before Hill shot and killed Dr. Britton and his clinic escort.

In the past, Our Fathers House had the support of even national organizations; for example, Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, wrote a letter praising both Burt and Our Fathers House.

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Media Resources: WEAR-TV 5/21/04; Feminist Majority Foundation